For the last 10 years, the man who grew up in Bay Area suburbia now lives entirely outdoors, traveling the western United States in the company of three mules ages 13, 20 and 28 years old, respectively. They go by “Little Girl,” “Lady” and “Pepper.”
“We’re claiming our right to be outside,” said Sears, referring to a “we” that includes him, his mules, and “the spirits” – or the collective, living energy that surrounds them.
On Tuesday, he walked along Bolsa Road in Gilroy with a silver horseshoe – or rather, a muleshoe – in hand. He declined to share why he carries the shoe, but said he saves shoes that fall off during his travels.
Sears is a walking kind of man. He and his entourage have plodded through various states including Wyoming, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Kansas and Texas, regularly walking at least 10 to 20 miles a day. In the summer, the days are longer and the group walks further. In the winter, they scout out a place to camp earlier and don’t wander as far.
“Who are we? Where are we from? We are mules. We are from the outside. We live outside all day, every day. Where are we going? Nowhere,” states Sears’ website, 3mules.com… ”